'Big Brother' Eviction: Daniel Durston Addresses Tirade That Brought Taylor Hale to Tears (Exclusive)
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*Caution: Spoilers ahead!
Sometimes on Big Brother, it's better to go down in a blaze of glory than shuffle off with a whimper -- and that is exactly how things when down on Thursday's live eviction night.
In an episode that easily could have been disappointingly predictable, some unexpected moments of last-ditch gameplay and interesting twists spiced things up.
So, who wound up getting sent packing? Scroll down for the big reveal. Otherwise, here's how everything that led up to and played out during Thursday's live show.
After last week's beautifully executed blindside eviction of Nicole Layog, her ride-of-die (who was also accidentally instrumental in her eventual eviction) Daniel Durston realized there was no one in the house he could trust and essentially spiraled.
He got into a very public, wildly passive-aggressive argument with Monte Taylor, whom he accused of manipulating Nicole's eviction -- despite the fact that Monte told him repeatedly not to change the nominations, which Daniel ignored.
The only chance Daniel had to survive was to win the Head of Household competition. The challenge involved running along a thin rail without falling off the fastest. Daniel was up first and put up a fairly impressive time.
Then Michael Bruner went next and immediately beat Daniel's time, essentially stamping out Daniel's main chance at survival.
However, he wasn't done fighting. He tried valiantly to convince Michael not to nominate him for eviction and suggested he nominate Monte instead.
Now, Michael and Monte are part of The Leftovers alliance, along with Brittany Hoopes, Joseph Abdin, Kyle Capener, Taylor Hale and Matthew "Turner" Turner. As an alliance, they agreed that Michael would nominate Monte and Joseph, as well as Terrance Higgins (not a Leftover).
So, when Michael then went on to win the Veto Competition -- marking his fourth such win, not including his Head of Household win -- it would have been a huge backstab to his own alliance if he kept Monte and Joseph on the block.
So, he didn't. As predicted, Michael used the Veto to backdoor Daniel, putting him and Kyle on the chopping block. Despite Daniel's best efforts, he clearly knew he didn't have the numbers to stay.
And that brings us to Thursday's live eviction night!
In a move seemingly inspired by Will Kirby's "I hate you all" speech or Dan Gheesling's funeral, Daniel delivered a fiery message in his appeal.
"House guests, please vote to evict me. I would rather hang out with Nicole and Paloma than any one of you bozos here today. This place is a circus and you're all a bunch of clowns. It's time to wake up and realize that Michael has five competitions under his belt. And he will win this season if you don't go after him next," Daniel said. "A smart, super fan like Michael knows with a strong competitor like Monte on the block, you don't change that nominee, unless you're working together. If you want me to do your dirty work, vote to save me. Or vote to evict me and in about ten minutes this season just got boring."
If it was reverse psychology, it didn't work. By a vote of 8-1 -- with the sole vote to evict Kyle coming from Terrance -- Daniel was evicted from the Big Brother house.
Without looking at anyone, Daniel got up, grabbed his bag, gave Terrance a big hug and left the house as the rest of the houseguests waved him on enthusiastically.
Daniel then joined host Julie Chen Moonves for his exit interview, and admitted, "As soon as Nicole left the house, I knew I was done... I love this game. I knew when my number one went home, it wasn't going to ultimately work out. I just wanted to play it out as much as I could until I absolutely walked out that door because it's an honor to be here."
Daniel also addressed his targeting of Taylor -- which has earned him a lot of hate on social media throughout the season -- and said his feud was all due to what he saw as Taylor's role in Paloma Aguilar's self-eviction in week 1.
"I love Paloma like a sister. When I heard her kind of lie about her it really affected me emotionally. I'm a very loyal, loving friend. That affected me there," Daniel said. "Then it enters the game because Paloma was a number for me. I considered her a number two, even after eight days. So it was definitely both down the line."
However, he claimed that he and Taylor had talked things out -- something no one else seems to think happened, including Taylor. When Julie asked if he was "square with her now," Daniel said, "I believe so, I hope so. If not, I can't wait to talk to her after."
In her goodbye message, Taylor didn't mince words and echoed Daniel's outburst toward her earlier in the season when he yelled at her in front of the other houseguests and told her not to talk to him again until the finale.
"I've never been happier to see somebody walk their sorry ass out that door," Taylor said in the recorded message. "Oh, and I guess your wish will come true: You don't have to speak to me 'til finale night."
Daniel laughed at the message, trying to play it off and a funny joke, but there really seemed to be no levity indication that Taylor wasn't totally serious in her dislike for Daniel.
Following Daniel's eviction, Julie called all the remaining houseguests into the living room for a big announcement. First off: the "Festie Bestie" twist is no more! From here on out, all the houseguests are no longer paired up and are playing solo.
Also, Julie announced, "Everyone left in the game at this point will either sit on the jury or face the jury come finale night!"
This elicited a celebratory cheer -- as did he call for everyone to go outside for the next Head of Household competition, called "Conspiracy Fest."
Basically, it's the show's iconic wall challenge, but with a super weird and Flat Earth Theory theme. Wearing tinfoil hats, the houseguests had to hold on to the wall and try not to fall. The last one standing becomes HOH. Michael isn't eligible to play, because he was just HOH, but that might be the only reason that comp beast has to slow down. It's like he's eager to put a huge target on his back.
While we won't find out who wins until Sunday -- unless you tune in to Paramount+ to watch the live feeds -- Julie did tease the next big twist coming to the season: a house divided! The contestants will be split into two groups and play two separate games of Big Brother for the whole week until a big double elimination!
Season 24 of Big Brother airs Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on CBS.
ET spoke to Daniel on Friday following his eviction and he said he wasn't surprised to be going home and was happy to learn from the experience. He also expressed regret about how he handled things with Taylor.
"I look forward to watching back to learn who lied to me and how it affected me, or maybe people weren’t lying to me and I took it differently and I will literally take notes because I want to actually feel aware of what I’m apologizing for when I talk to Taylor," he told ET. "That is my priority and then of course my approach to the outside world as far as far as if I offended or hurt anyone -- family, friends of hers, my family friends, anyone. I just want to make sure I am aware of what I am talking about as opposed to just saying it out loud. "
As for his tirade that brought Taylor to tears, Daniel admits he wishes he could have gone about it in a different way.
"Ultimately, in short, I wish I could have removed the emotion and approached it as more of a house meeting, if you will, or just having Nicole and Taylor in front of me," he tells ET. "Because my emotions were high I wish I could be like, ‘Hey, I’m not an HOH [Head of Household] but I need to know this so I can move forward in this game, not emotionally.'"
He added, "There’s definitely a better way to go about it, and when you’re stuck in a house the emotions definitely get the best of you, and I felt triggered, in the sense I thought she was doing the same thing she did to Paloma, which I’m learning is not necessarily true anymore. So it felt like, ‘Oh, she’s double downing on what she did to my last ally.' So, it was a lot going through my mind, and that’s where the lash out came from."
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